True Buddha Dharma-character Treasury – Manjushri Bodhisattva
【Manjushri Bodhisattva Mudra :】
Interlace fingers inward. Straighten both middle fingers. Arc the middle fingers with the fingertips touching to form a circle.
【Manjushri Bodhisattva Seed Syllable :】
【Manjushri Bodhisattva Mantra :】
Manjushri Bodhisattva Mantra:「Om。ah-la-ba-za-la-di。」
【Manjushri Bodhisattva Dharmalakṣaṇa Brief Introduction】
Manjushri Bodhisattva has one head and two arms. His right hand holds a sword while the left hand holds a blue lotus with a sacred case on top of it. He is riding on a lion.
【Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Dharma Talk – Manjushri Bodhisattva Background and Magnificence】
Manjushri is the Sanskrit name. In Chinese he is called Wen-shu-shi-li, Man-shu-shi-li, or Miao-ji-xiang. In the Mahayana, Manjushri is the bodhisattva most known for wisdom. He and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva are the two main attendants of Shakyamuni Buddha. Of all the bodhisattvas, Manjushri occupies the ”first seat” assisting Shakyamuni, so he is addressed as Dharma Prince Manjushri.
Manjushri is the principal deity of the Manjushri Hall located in the southwest of the Center Eight Petal Hall in the Womb Realm mandala. In the Diamond Realm mandala he sits at the first north seat among the sixteen deities of the present kalpa.
Manjushri is specifically in charge of wisdom. His wisdom is number one.
His other names are ”Wen-shu-shi-li, Man-shu-shi-li, Wen-shu-bao-li, Miao-ji-xiang, Miao-yin, Pu-shou, Jing-shou, Miao-de, Ru-shou, Jing-shou, etc..”
As the assistants of Shakyamuni, he and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva rule the ”Wisdom Gate” and ”Reasoning Gate” respectively.
In the past, Manjushri attained buddhahood, was the teacher of the Seven Buddhas, and was called the Buddha of the Race of Honorable Dragon Kings. His secret name is Auspicious Vajra or Prajna Vajra.
In the view of Living Buddha Lian-sheng Manjushri has a big secret. His ultimate supreme accomplishment is already that of ”Buddha” and his power is vast and boundless. He is a teacher of Buddhas.
According to Buddhist sutras and sastras, Manjushri was the teacher of an infinite number of buddhas and guided numerous practitioners to buddhahood. Hence, in the Mahayana Sutra of Contemplation of the Mind Ground he is addressed as ”Buddha Mother of the Three Times.”
In the era of the Buddha’s presence on earth, Manjushri’s dharma power encompassed the entire Saha world. The Avatamsaka Trinity which often appears is Shakyamuni in the middle, Manjusri Bodhisattva on the right, and Samantabhadra on the left. Shakyamuni knows the capability of Manjushri’s power to save sentient beings freely and at his will. He can transform in any way and has unlimited supernatural power. Hence, Manjushri is truly incredible. We can say he is the most incredible of all the bodhisattvas.
In Vajrayana, Manjushri is called the Wisdom Deity. In the Mahayana, Manjushri Bodhisattva’s wisdom is number one. In Hinayana, Sariputra’s wisdom is considered to be number one (Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu is the embodiment of Sariputra). In the Vajrayana, Vajrasattva is considered to be first in wisdom.
Of the ”Three Venerables” in Vajrayana, Manjushri Bodhisattva is in the center which means he is the main one. The ”Three Venerables” in Vajrayana are Manjushri Bodhisattva who symbolizes wisdom, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva who symbolizes compassion, and Vajrapani Bodhisattva who symbolizes dharma power.
This means that you must take refuge in Avalokitesvara to increase your bodhicitta and you must take refuge in Manjushri to increase your wisdom, your tathagata wisdom, buddha wisdom. And there is also Vajrapani Bodhisattva who symbolizes all-encompassing dharma power for accomplishing anything in the world. In Vajrayana these three deities are called the ”Three Venerables.”
Manjushri’s image has five hair knots at his crown which symbolize the five wisdoms of Mahavairocana Buddha. He carries a sword in his right hand which symbolizes wisdom and he rides a lion which represents the wrathful nature of wisdom. The fundamental form of Manjushri is ”Five Syllables” and ”Five Hair Knots,” although there are also one-syllable, five-syllable, six-syllable, eight-syllable, one-hair-knot, five-hair-knot, eight-hair-knot, and baby Manjushris. Manjushri holds a blue lotus in his left hand which symbolizes non-contamination and is able to sever all afflictions.
The most important dharma protector of Living Buddha Lian Sheng is Yamantaka. Yamantaka is the greatest Vajra arising from the merging of Manjushri and Lord Yama in Manjushri’s samadhi. There is a system that goes like this: Amitabha Buddha – > Manjushri Bodhisattva – > Yamantaka. The three deities are one and the same in essence. Amitabha Buddha is the Dharmakaya buddha, Manjushri is a Buddha having verified dharma, a Sambhogakaya tathagata, and Yamantaka is the Wheel of Injunction Vajra. These three deities are interconnected, so Amitabha Buddha, Manjushri and Yamantaka are all part of one system.
As Manjushri Bodhisattva is the symbol of wisdom in Mahayana Buddhism there are numerous stories in the sutras of how he used his wisdom to guide and enlighten practitioners.
One of the Four Sacred Mountains in China is Mt. Wutai, also known as Qingliang Shan. In the High King Sutra there are the ”billions of bodhisattvas of precious Qingliang Shan.” The billions of bodhisattvas residing at Qingliang Shan were all saved by Manjushri. These billions of bodhisattva are like the embodiments of Manjushri residing at Mt. Wutai.
I know that there is a profound affinity between myself and Manjushri. On my first trip to mainland China I went to Mt. Wutai in Shanxi Province to pay homage to Manjushri Bodhisattva. Of the Buddhist ”Four Sacred Mountains” the first I visited on my pilgrimage was Mt. Wutai. While I was paying homage at Mt. Wutai, Manjushri emanated as a monk. When I paid homage to deities he did the same. I worshipped from the top of the mountain down to the bottom and he likewise worshipped from the top of the mountain down to the bottom. The two of us worshipped together. He said ”You have waited a long time for me.” Later I gave him money. He said ”No, not this.” I then raised my hand in a certain gesture and he said ”Yes, that’s right, that’s it.” We smiled and honored each other before departing.
Actually, in the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism there is the Gelugpa master Tsongkhapa who was the emanation of Manjushri. As for saving sentient beings, Manjushri not only saves living beings, but also beings in the spiritual world. That is why there is the Manjushri Deliverance Practice, the Manjushri Five Hair Knot Child Deliverance Practice, and the Manjushri Eight Great Child Deliverance Dharma Practice. These are all very important!
It is not the purpose of the Manjushri Deliverance Practice of Vajrayana Karmic Practices to encourage killing beings. Instead, it is to take advantage of Manjushri’s dharma power to deliver beings.
This is a special Manjushri Deliverance Practice. It greatly benefits and relieves restaurant workers. It is a supreme secret.
Living Buddha Lian-sheng regards ”Youth Manjushri Wheel Mantra Practice” proclaimed by Buddha at Heaven of Pure Abode as the fundamental one word mantra of Manjushri.
This one word mantra is ”Om。bu-lin。” or ”Om。ci-lin。” It is also the ”Completion Mantra.”
Whoever chants this mantra and practices the visualization of the three major bodhisattvas (Manjushri, Avalokitesvara and Samantabhadra,) will obtain the support and protection of Manjushri and all other bodhisattvas. In addition, Manjushri’s five attendants and his eight youths will also support and protect the practitioners.
Someone asked me, ”What is Om, bu-lin?”
I answered, ”This mantra is the one word heart mantra in the Manjushri Sadhana. It is also the one word mantra of a big wheel. It is pronounced as bu-lin.”
I was asked again, ”Why does Om, bu-lin have such great merit?”
I replied, ”Because Om, bu-lin is the heart of Manjushri. It is the supreme and ultimate of all buddhas and bodhisattvas.”